The News-Gazette, a regional newspaper for Central Illinois reports that Champaign County (where the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign is located) is considering phasing out the elected office of Recorder of Deeds at the expiration of the current Recorder’s term. The Recorder’s role would be folded into the office of the County Clerk.
Before I started handling primarily patent and intellectual property matters in 2011, I worked at both the City of Chicago Department of Law and the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal on property regulation, during which time I performed numerous title searches both here in Cook County and across the State. These days, I still handle real property matters from time to time, mostly in the Chicago area and specifically in Cook County. Based on this experience, my overwhelming impression is that the State’s patchwork county-by-county title system is a mess, and I welcome any move to reform, trim and de-politicize the recordation of real property documents, even if only in one or a few counties. In particular, I would hope that changes downstate might influence Illinois’ largest and most inconvenient county, Cook County, to reform its recordation system. To Champaign County: Good Idea, please do it.